Adventist Today announces the first book it has published about missions or missionaries. LOVING YOU–I Went to Africa by Deanne Hoehn was released by Amazon.com October 16, 2023. The cover teases, “This is not a mission story, this is a missionary story. This story is true, but not a ‘history’–this is a ‘her-story!’ Lions, leopards, elephants, hippo, duiker, puff adders, monkeys, and gnu are in this story. But mostly this is a love story.”
Deanne spent 13 years of her young life writing these stories about becoming a missionary in the context of post-colonial Africa during the years of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Kenneth Kaunda, the Rhodesian/Zimbabwean war, Apartheid, Freedom Fighters, racism, sexism, poverty, gold, and diamonds in Africa. And Adventists were still trying to send enough missionaries to “finish the work” so that Jesus could come back again. History is mostly written by men, and they focus on the wars and deeds of men. But Chloe Angyal wrote, “It’s mostly men who write history but it’s women who live through the most of it. And in daily life, it’s women who do the work of remembering….”
Deanne wrote this book as it was happening. She was recording the domestic, private, often forgotten stories of how (without guns, votes, advertisements, medals, or monuments) racism, sexism, and poverty caused by greed and exploitation in this world are secretly subverted. This is a true story of how Heaven secretly invades Earth. This is about the hidden resistance to evil in this world that comes from the good men and many great women who specialize in the habitual application of love. The battlefield is in house, garden, neighborhood, kitchen, hospitality, sharing, teaching, birthing, failing, learning, and living. Deanne’s husband, Jack, selected the stories from the hundreds of letters Deanne had written and added a few sections for context to their 13 years as Adventist medical missionaries in Africa.
There are over 65 illustrations in the book.
Early readers have been very enthusiastic, “I started reading, and could not put it down! What a beautiful story. Completely drew me in and I read every word. The pacing, the way the events unfold feels like hearing a friend talking about an exotic life of service that could not even be imagined in its complexity. The letters create an intimacy…as if reading someone’s diary and learning what really happens and how it feels.”
Details on how to get a paperback ($22) or Kindle e-book ($9.95) copy of the book can be found in the SHOP section above, along with other books published by Adventist Today.